Venne ’22 leads women’s hockey back to the NESCAC semifinals

Gab Venne '22 (Josh McKee photo)
Gab Venne '22 (Josh McKee photo)

Hamilton College's Gab Venne '22 made a season-high 40 saves and the Continentals posted a 3-1 win against the Colby College Mules in a 2019 NESCAC Women's Hockey Championship quarterfinal at Hamilton's Russell Sage Rink on Saturday evening.

Third-seeded Hamilton (16-7-2 overall) has appeared in 17 of 18 conference tournaments and will advance to the semifinals for the first time since 2007. The Continentals will play No. 2 seed Middlebury College on Saturday, March 2 at top-seeded Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts. The Continentals have won six of their last seven games.

No. 6 seed Colby (12-10-3) refused to return home without a fight as the Mules racked up a 41-19 shot advantage, but Venne stood strong between the pipes. Venne leads the NESCAC with a .955 save percentage and she is second with a 1.17 goals against average.

After a scoreless first period, Maggie Seidenberg '22 and Jess Haviland '21 gave Hamilton a 2-0 lead going into the third period.

Missy Segall '21 won the faceoff to the right of Colby's Cierra San Roman (16 saves) and dropped the puck back to Nancy Loh '22. Loh dumped the puck into the opposite corner where Mya Berretta '22 collected it and passed to Seidenberg at the point. Seidenberg fired a wrist shot that sailed through traffic and inside the opposite-left corner for her first career goal at 12:55.

Late in the second, Maddie Beitler '21 and Alayna Trice '20 swung the puck around the back of Colby's net to Haviland in the opposite corner. Haviland then single-handedly deked around three Mules and lifted the puck over San Roman's glove for her third goal.

Colby cut its deficit in half with 6:01 left in the third period when McKinley Karpa notched a power-play goal. Tess Dupre won the faceoff to the right of Venne and Colby moved the puck around the arc to Karpa on the top of the opposite faceoff circle. Karpa did a give-and-go with Aimely Michaud-Nolan in the corner and then wristed a shot into the upper-left corner of the goal.

Segall scored the insurance goal with 55 seconds remaining. Following a Colby timeout at 18:02, San Roman headed to the bench to gain an extra skater. The Mules were surging into the offensive zone when Hamilton's Loh poked the puck away to Segall at the blue line. Segall picked up speed for a one-on-one and fired a shot from the high slot into the empty net that secured the victory. It was Segall's fifth goal and 12th point this season.